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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

Friday, May 15, 2015

Four Sentenced In Dogfight Gambling Enterprise Case

U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore announced today that Arthur Lee Clark a/k/a “Bilbert”, age 42, of Sumner, Georgia; Demitri Jackson, age 38; William Burns a/k/a “J.B”, age 42; all of Albany, Georgia; and Timothy Hopkins a/k/a “LO”, age 42, of Hiram, Georgia were sentenced for conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.  The sentences were handed down by The Honorable W. Louis Sands, Senior U.S. District Court Judge, in Albany.

Demetri Jackson was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison.  Timothy Hopkins received a sentence of 35 months in prison.  William “J.B.” Burns must serve 24 months in prison.  Arthur Lee Clark was sentenced to serve 3 years on probation.

According to the indictment, the defendants operated a dogfight gambling enterprise, named “229 Boys Kennels, Inc.”, from about April 2006 to April 2010 in Albany, Georgia.  The defendants produced, promoted and participated in dogfight gambling shows throughout the Southeast, including other parts of Georgia and Florida.  The defendants bred, purchased, sold, and trained American Pit Bull Terriers for the purposes of dogfight gambling.  The dogs were bred with dogs owned by, purchased from, and sold to individuals from other parts of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The indictment further alleges that “229 Boys Kennels, Inc.” advertised and promoted the prowess of “229 Boys Kennels, Inc.” canine stock through online websites and publications and word of mouth to increase the value of “229 Boys Kennels, Inc.” stock for sale and to increase prize amounts for matches at dogfight gambling shows.  Dogs not selected to continue fighting in “229 Boys Kennels, Inc.” were exterminated by bludgeoning them in the head with a hammer, slamming them on the ground until dead, and by other inhumane methods.

“Dogfighting is a cruel and inhumane activity that should not be dignified with the term ‘sport.’  These defendants engaged in this crime solely to benefit themselves financially.  I fully support the significant sentences they received today and my office will continue to vigorously prosecute such cases whenever they are brought to us,” said United States Attorney Michael Moore.

On April 30, 2014, all seven individuals were arrested through the cooperative effort of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Sylvester and Americus Field Offices; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General; U.S. Marshals Service; and Albany Police Department.  A search warrant executed on the day of the arrests yielded 42 American Pit Bull Terriers being used for the purposes of dogfight gambling.

Timothy Hopkins and Arthur Lee Clark pled guilty to the charge on December 10, 2014.  Demetri Jackson and William Burns entered guilty pleas on January 20, 2015.

The case was the result of a four-year investigation conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Sylvester; U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General; and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia C. Bowen prosecuted the case for the Government.

Inquiries regarding this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Updated May 15, 2015